The Night Before Tomorrow

I begin to prepare.



Never knowing quite for sure what it will bring. But knowing that once I close my eyes. For good. It will be here. Whether I am ready or not.

Back and forth I go. It will be a great day says one part of my brain. And I mentally create a list of all the things that I hope to accomplish tomorrow. A smile spreads across my face. Because I know it is definitely possible. Why wouldn’t it be? I have had days like this before. Recently even.

But then doubt creeps in the back door. Uninvited. But making its presence known nevertheless. Why does it always show up uninvited? It plants unwanted seeds in my subconscious that always push and shove their way to front. What if this happens? What if that happens? It’s happened before. Recently even.

Focus Jon! Stay positive!

You can beat this!

Anxiety stinks!

But it’s real!

And I experience it. More often than I’d like to admit. Usually it hits me the moment I regain consciousness in the morning. How is that possible? I have just had the entire night to dream of rainbows and unicorns. Yet they disappear the instant the possibility of the new day becomes real.

I don’t get it. I went to sleep happy. The last words spoken to my family members are usually I love you or involve my son making some sort of butt joke. Five year old boys. You gotta love ’em.

So what gives?

Why do I wake up with feelings of anxiety? Is it because I fear what might go wrong more than I dream of what could go right? It’s certainly possible.

Sure. Tomorrow may not go well. But it may very well be the best day of my life.

Is it because I am making it too easy for doubt to creep in the backdoor? Maybe, but I don’t think that’s it. Doubt is something that every single one of us experiences. We have heard time and time again from successful people, whatever that means, that they too, go through periods of self-doubt.

And yet they persevere!

I need to start spending more time thinking about the possibility of all the awesome things that could take place in my day. Yet, instead doubt and negativity creep in the back door and take a seat right at my kitchen table.

It’s as if I have set the table for them and have offered to make them a plate!

What I need to start doing is leaving my front door unlocked. Better yet, why not leave it open? So that dreams and bucket lists can pull up a chair. I know they have been knocking. Why have I been so reluctant to let them in?

No longer!

Starting tomorrow I am leaving the front door open. I know that doubt and anxiety will still sneak in the back door. But from now on they are going to have to sit across the table from my dreams. And my bucket list that has had to wait outside for way too long. I am curious to see what happens next.

So will this mean that I will no longer experience anxiety and doubt? Of course not. That’s part of human nature. But I am going to start dreaming out loud and I am going to start working on my bucket list!

It is the night before tomorrow.

And I am excited for what the next day may bring. I am a little nervous too. But so what?

That’s life!

It’s time to open the front door!


Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Pope John XXIII

* I wrote this post over 2 years ago. Before I started blogging for BAM Radio and before my podcast My Bad. So while I still experience anxiety and doubt—it’s not as bad as it used to be. And you wanna know what else? I am going after my dreams. Each and every day!

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Stuck In My Own Shadow

Photo taken by Ted McNeil

Photo taken by Ted McNeil

It had been a very busy day.

I was exhausted. I had a migraine and my stomach was killing me.

And so I went to sleep. At five o’clock!

My wife and kids were at school late and I was asleep before they returned home.

But I heard the front door close. Then I heard someone bounding up the steps. Next, someone jumped on the bed and was lying right next to me. So close I could feel them. Her.

It was my ten-year old daughter. She couldn’t wait to tell me about her day. She rattled off about five awesome things in less than four minutes. Wow! My migraine that had disappeared was beginning to return.

I told her I loved her and that I didn’t feel well. She got the message and went back downstairs. Within about an hour, everyone had worked their way upstairs and was in bed. By this time my stomach was feeling a little bit better and I knew that I needed some food.

So I snuck downstairs. Hoping to be alone. I wanted to jump on Voxer to share my day with my PLN. I wanted to hop on Twitter because…

Maybe I am addicted to the dopamine hits. Sitting in front of a bright screen with a migraine just does not make sense. But I did it anyway.

My stomach wasn’t yet ready for dinner-food so I decided on a bowl of cereal with some fruit. Then the silence was broken. My daughter had snuck downstairs too. She wasn’t tired yet and so she decided to join me with a bowl of cereal of her own.

She engaged and began talking to me about this and about that. I wasn’t paying attention. I was grumpy and I told her that it was late and that she needed to get back to bed. I just wanted to be alone.

Well, I got my wish. I quickly snapped out of it.

I was an ass.

And I knew it.

I apologized to her as soon as she woke up. But I still felt bad. My daughter. Who is the most beautiful ray of sunshine I have ever seen. Was trying to shine some of her light on me. And I would not allow her. I was stuck in my own shadow.

But not for long. I promised my kids that we would go bowling as soon as they got home from school. That we would get pizza and french fries and have so much fun.

Once again, I was home from school first. And once again I was exhausted and tired and lying down when they opened the front door. But this time was different.

I am getting better.

This time I heard lighter steps were heading my way. This time it was my four-year old son who had come up to greet me.

Daddy are going bo-wing?


I hopped up.

Got ready, and we went.

And we had a blast!

I am trying to be better each day.

Because life is hard. And life is stressful. And all of us have tough days.

But one thing I know I can’t allow myself to do.

One thing that I must fight with every fiber of my being.

I can’t allow myself to be stuck in my own shadow.

Lucky for me I am surrounded by magnificent rays of light.

That continue to shine on me.

Even when I may not always deserve it.

Thank you Bailey.

Thank you for not giving up on me.

I promise I will do all that I can.

To step out of my own shadow.

As long as you promise.

To always let your light shine.

My beautiful angel.